The exhibition was a major undertaking that featured more than 1300 works from the Museion collection, many of which had never been exhibited before. The title, “-2+3 …” might sound like algebra, but actually represents a summary of the complex process of moving the works from the archives on the basement floor (-2) to the exhibition space of the third floor.
Directing operations were the artists Stefano Arienti and Massimo Bartolini, invited by Museion to step in as curators and take on the collection and the history of the museum. Part of the Museion collection, shown exactly as it appears in the archives, took up position on the exhibition floors, but with a business as usual approach: the works could still be taken out on loan or returned from the exhibitions they were lent to. Visitors therefore had the opportunity to witness the normal activities that revolve around the collection, including the conservation and archiving processes. “-2+3” was also an opportunity to explore the various themed nuclei in the collection, the artists present and the history of the museum itself. The works on show belonged to the various artistic currents that could be found in the collection: from Art Informel to the exponents of Gruppo Zero, from Pop Art to Arte Povera, Kinetic Art to Conceptual Art, to Paolo Della Grazia’s collection – on loan to Museion – entitled Archivio di Nuova Scrittura. The invitation issued to the two artists sprang from reflections on the nature of the museum and the role that it plays today. The historic “Mouseion”, which gives the Bolzano museum its name, was the definitive haunt of the muses, a hub for the arts and intellectual and civil virtues. Every museum has its own complex and distinctive identity which can and should be explored by looking at the various factors which led to the formation of its collection. The humanists and collectors of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries assigned museums the role of laboratory of history and knowledge of the world. This idea lay behind the decision to involve Stefano Arienti and Massimo Bartolini, enabling the artists to act as contemporary humanists and use the museum collection as their own laboratory of ideas.
Curated by Letizia Ragaglia and Frida Carazzato.